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Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) - Enlightenment Ales

Not Rated.
Illumination (Farmhouse IPA)Illumination (Farmhouse IPA)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

110 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 110
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Enlightenment Ales visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 04-21-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NEhophead:
Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4 fl oz brown bottle served in a chalice.
Batch #1; note alcohol by volume is listed at 6.8%.

Dirty straw in color beneath a carbonation-heavy, foamy, white head that holds for a few moments before thinning to an intact sheet. Condensed lacing with pretty good strength.

A variety of aromas going on here that match the Saison-American IPA hybrid description. Sweet Belgian candy sugar that just slightly outweighs the earthen must and spicy clove character. Wet, oily citrus hops; mild to moderate pine aromas as well.

The initial sweetness is assertive, yet short-lived. Almost immediately, the Saison-like flavors take over: earthen must with somewhat non-descriptive floral hops; mild pepper and coriander. The 'west coast' hop profile is present in its sweet-citrus flavors; however, it feels almost thin compared to the candied sweetness and muddy-earthen 'Saison'-driven flavors.

Medium bodied. Pretty delicate flavors propped up by a smooth, rounded body.

Overall, a pretty creative offering that just doesn't fire on all cylinders. Worth a try from such a small start up, but not a must buy.

NEhophead, Oct 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

JakerLou, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of juicebox
5/5  rDev +24.1%

juicebox, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of doremite
4/5  rDev -0.7%

doremite, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of hagbergl
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is my first try of up and coming Massachusetts brewery, Enlightenment Ales (now a joint project with Idle Hands of Everett, MA, I hear). I'm excited to try it, as it comes well recommended from the Craft Beer Cellar Newton beer geeks. Let's pour Illumination into a glass and check it out!

Appearance (4.75/5): Golden and hazy, the head is massive (three fingers-plus), tightly bubbled, and snow white. It looks wonderful and it seems the carbonation is on point–I've found that hoppy Belgian pale ales really suffer when they don't have some vigorous carbonation to make their flavors "pop".

Smell (4/5): Grassy, earthy, lighter citric hops and a very noticeable saison yeast aroma. Fresh, clean, herbal, with a bit of interesting yeastiness that plays off the hop aromas nicely.

Taste (4/5): Illumination's taste is definitely hoppier than the aroma, but still on the milder side. It packs plenty of grassy and citric/grapefruit hop flavor, though lacks (appropriately in my opinion) the piney astringence of many straight-up IPAs. Its solid malt base is clean and lightly sweet–it serves to compliment the citric-grassy hop profile and yeastiness. This beer is highly drinkable. The bitterness is really in the mild to moderate sweet-spot, which seems just right for a beer that is supposed to be a Saison/American IPA hybrid.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Medium-light body and a nicely spritely feel from the carbonation. It has the dry finish you'd expect from either a Saison or American IPA. The bottle conditioning does wonders for the feel, helping the flavors really pop.

Overall (4.25/5): Enlightenment Ales really has something good in Illumination. The smell, taste, mouthfeel, and appearance are all very good. I especially like how the beer artfully bridges the gap between IPA and Saison, bringing in citrusy American hops in the dry-hopping stage to compliment the restrained maltiness and characterful yeastiness of a traditional saison. What you get is a bold beer that is still refined and complex. This is a hell of a hybrid.

hagbergl, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Trashcat
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Trashcat, Friday at 07:37 PM
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

acurtis, May 08, 2014
Photo of penguindude
5/5  rDev +24.1%

penguindude, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Dan114
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Dan114, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of hreb
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle (cap top only) served in oversize blue tinted plastic pint glass (stay classy, beer friends). Botched pour results in a massive glass full of sticky white foam, which appears to be quite durable. I'm going to say the color is pale yellow and hazy, but who the hell really knows. Aroma is mostly on the farmhouse ale side of the genre, but there's a little C-hop kick in the head too. The beer combines belgian blonde and hop flavors in a really delicious way, though I don't think I could quite call it IPA. The mouthfeel is on the watery side, which is a little disconcerting. Reading the brewers' notes I am reminded that this beer has wheat and rye in it, which makes complete sense. In reflection the dry, bitter grainy note is a dead giveaway for rye, and the thin mouthfeel suggests to me unmalted grain. I'm a big fan all of the constituent parts of this beer: rye IPA, Belgian ales, Saisons, as well as any beer brewed with a diversity of grains. It's not that this beer is less than the sum of its parts; it's just that these components combine in an unexpected (to me) way, which is challenging to my palate. And I'm impressed that my palate can still be challenged by a beer without the use of insane numbers of IBUs or crazy spicing. No, I'm really enjoying this.

Overall this is an excellent product, if transgressive, even within the very liberally defined Belgian IPA standard.

Enlightenment Ales No2, Batch #16.

hreb, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of Dmuney15
4.95/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving type: 1 pint champaign style bottle poured into tulip style glass
Appearance: hazy golden color with a thick and lasting white head.
Smell: wonderful grapefruit and citrus aromas all intermingling with the smells of a beautiful saison
Taste: like biting into a fresh juicy grapefruit however unlike most ipa's with similar quality the bitterness is subdued to the beginning if the sip and it finishes with a wonderfully fresh and crisp aftertaste reminiscent of some of the most decadent saisons I have ever had
Mouthfeel: the perfect amount of carbonation balance with a crisp mouthfeel that makes you long for more
Overall: up there with some of the most beautifully crafted ales I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. With the price being under $10 I would happily add this to my weekly rotation. I just hope it remains available!

Dmuney15, Oct 12, 2012
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4/5  rDev -0.7%

beerman999999, Jul 14, 2012
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3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Denzo, Oct 09, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Kmlund, Feb 04, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

trevorpost, Jan 25, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

wesley14, Apr 11, 2013
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4/5  rDev -0.7%

Peter1977, Mar 02, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

dental, Jun 16, 2014
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4/5  rDev -0.7%

ODBRIP, Nov 02, 2013
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3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

cjs61679, Aug 12, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

HattedClassic, Sep 29, 2013
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4/5  rDev -0.7%

BigPapaMolar, Sep 04, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

MRsojourner, Sep 12, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Massbmx, Feb 22, 2013
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Illumination (Farmhouse IPA) from Enlightenment Ales
90 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.